top of page

Welcome to..... LAKEWOOD RANCH

Premium Breeders of Doodles & Cockapoos

How to care for your puppy

Getting Ready

When you get a new puppy, it’s only natural to want to simply hang out with them and play and cuddle all day. Unfortunately, there are a number of things that you need to do in those first few days and weeks — both to make sure that your new pup stays healthy and to establish good behavior patterns. Rest assured that the work you put in now will pay off tenfold in the long run. When your full-grown adult dog is balanced, well-behaved, and the envy of all your Pack Leader neighbors, you’ll be glad you took good care of her right from the beginning. A holistic approach will entending your dog’s life and build better health. To build immunity - Avoid antibiotics if you can.

Feeding routine

Feeding - Give constant access to fresh water – Feed a wheat, corn and filler free holistic diet - we insist on a good quality food. TLC petfood.  It is ordered online or by calling in and is delivered for free to your home anywhere in North America.  A coupon code is available in the documentation that is emailed to your about preparing for your new puppy.

First Week Home:

First week home may result Loose stools from a new environment stress. Pumpkin helps slow down the bowel and helps avoid dehydration. Make up a mixture of canned pumpkin puree and some DE with honey or beef broth for flavour an fill ice cup trays and free.  Pop out one cube daily for the first week at home.  After that feed one to two cubes weekly. 

Feeding Schedule - Feed an infant puppy 4 times daily - breakfast, lunch and dinner and snack at 8 pm. No food or water after 8 – to avoid accidents at night. Gradually transition to a free-feed situation when you can trust your dog to let you know they need outside for a bathroom break.  A holistic diet – no wheat, no corn, no filler is important to prevent allergic reactions to food.


Toys and Chewing

Toys should be chew proof like KONG toys if you are leaving the dog alone with it.  Soft toys are for supervised play only. Be sure to look for choke hazards when choosing toys.

Chewing is a natural and necessary part of your dogs behaviour and mental health.

Uncooked- frozen Cow bones from the butcher are part of the diet and teach self entertainment as well as reducing stress from the chewing action. Puppies NEED bones to chew.

A dog’s teeth need to be monitored regularly to ensure she can eat properly. 

Potty Time

Unless you want to have a big mess on your hands, you need to make sure you’re giving your pup “potty time” every 2-4 hours. Any longer than that and she just won’t be able to hold it. Putting a set time (and place) to this activity also teaches her that this isn’t just something she can do whenever and wherever she feels like it. Use a doggy doorbell, dinging it with the puppies paw when you take it out on a leash to toilet.

A doggie toilet can be made quite easily.

How to build a 


A doggy toilet can be easily made to save a messy yard – a wood box – like a sandbox – with no bottom – 4’ x 6’ – fill half way with sand – top with pea gravel. Use a bucket with lid and small gardening shovel to scoop each time. Compost bucket contents when full. Bleach pea gravel each season- rinse with hose.

Best times to take your puppy outside is:

When you wake up• right before bedtime.

Immediately after your puppy eats or drinks a lot of water.• when your puppy wakes up from a nap.

During and after physical activity.• before or after entering the crate.

Establishing a Routine

One of the most important things you need to do for your puppy right off the bat is to establish a routine. Though it will be difficult initially for you to decide on a routine that will work for you, your family, and your puppy, don't wait too long to figure it out.

A trainer can help you establish routines.

Consistency and routines make a well trained pet.

Behaviour issues

Make sure the expectations you have of your dog are reasonable and remember that the vast majority of behavior problems can be solved. Recorrection of inappropriate behaviour should be done with a positive approach.

Remember, not all "behavior" problems are just that; many can be indicators of health problems. For example, a dog who is suddenly growling or snapping when you touch his ears may have an ear infection or is having an allergic reaction.

Identify your Dog

External Identification: Outfit your dog with a collar and ID tag that includes your name, address and telephone number. No matter how careful you are, there's a chance your companion may become lost—an ID tag greatly increases the chance that your pet will be returned home safely. The dog’s collar should not be tight; it should fit so two fingers can slip easily under his collar. 

FOR A FREE ID TAG- CALL TLC pet food after you have placed your order and they will send you a free personalized tag.

Using a Crate 

The crate is the dog’s DEN. Not a punishment. The space should be reduced so the puppy does not toilet in the crate. Just enough space to go in- turn around and come back out. Time in a crate should not exceed age- 2 months = 2 hours 4 months = 4 hours; 6 months = 6 hours; 8 months or older – maximum of 8 hours. No food, water or soft toys should be in the crate. Bones only.

Stay out of harms way

Even a dog with a valid license, rabies tag and ID tag should not be allowed to roam outside of your home or fenced yard. It is best for you, your community and your dog to keep her on a leash and under your control at all times. Do not take your infant puppy off your property until after 4 months of age due to lack of immunity. Puppies under 4 months should be walked using a HARNESS – not a collar.


Give your dog enough exercise to keep him physically fit (but not exhausted)

Most dog owners find that playing with their canine companion, along with walking him twice a day, provides sufficient exercise. Walking benefits people as much as it benefits dogs, and the time spent together will improve your dog’s sense of well-being.

Exercise and play

Starting to think you’re never going to have any fun with your new puppy? Well, you can relax, because it’s also important to build time for exercise and play into your schedule.

Ideally, you want to begin your pup’s day with exercise before she has her first meal. After breakfast, try a pack walk (if she’s too young to go outside, you can do this around the house) followed by some bonding or play time. You’ll repeat this general routine throughout each day. Exercise, meal, exercise, bonding, meal, and so on.

By creating a good schedule for your puppy and starting small with tasks like feeding times, potty times, teaching keywords, and exercising and playing, you will not only save yourself innumerable future headaches, you’ll also ensure that your new bundle of joy grows up to be the best that he can be.







Your Vet Visit

If you do not have a veterinarian, ask your local animal shelter or a pet-owning friend for a referral and check out our information on choosing a veterinarian. Interview vets to be sure they are about the animals and not just about selling you extras and making you feel guilty for saying no. More and more clinics are overcharging for services and pushing extra products and tests to increase their bottom line. Be careful.

Do not vaccinate every year. A holistic approach is to titer test to see if your dog NEEDS a booster or not.

Your outdoor space

A fenced yard with a doghouse is a bonus, especially for large and active dogs; however, dogs should never be left outside alone or for extended periods of time. Dogs need and crave companionship; they should spend most of their time with their family, not alone outside. 

Get Help from a Trainer

Positive training will allow you to control your companion's behavior safely and humanely, and the experience offers a terrific opportunity to enhance the bond you share with your dog. Ask friends and neighbours recommendations for choosing a dog trainer.

Keywords training

Very young puppies can’t get into any kind of formal training class right away, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be teaching him some basics every day. One thing every pup can start learning: keywords.

Begin with important words like “good,” “bad,” and “no.” Keep these words simple and be consistent with which ones you use. Your dog needs to get used to hearing the same words in order to associate the same meanings with them each time. Use the pets name in front of the word EVERY time to teach its name.

Grooming & Swimming

Professional Grooming at every 2 – 3 months; Nails should be trimmed monthly; Regular brushing of hair is a must to avoid tangles; Bathing with water only anytime; Dog soap- no more than once per week. Teach your puppy to swim in the bathtub from the age of 8 weeks before pond, lake or pool swimming.

Rabies Shots

Check with your local animal shelter or humane society for information regarding legal requirements, where to obtain tags and where to have your pet vaccinated.  

Flea and Tick Control

Do not use the nasty drops or pills for flea control. Your pet could have health problems, seizures, reduced immunity or an allergic reaction. . Diamonaceous Earth on the skin weekly helps keep fleas and ticks off your dog. Also use a NATURAL pest spray when going for walks. For internal parasites - DE ¼ teaspoon in a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin weekly. Grapefruit seed extract and oil or oregano can also be used to solve parasite issues – caused from drinking out of puddles or eating feces.

Other contaminants such as road salt can be avoided by using a NATURAL PAW WAX.  


Things to arrange:

-PET INSURANCE- Call 1-855-828-1419


-vet appointment for one month after going home

-name tag - call TLC for free tag

-register on Ontario spca website for spay or neuter at a reduced price

- bones from the butcher

- doggy doorbell & doggy toilet

- Get Diatomaceous Earth – (DE) for skin and food supplement

- canned pumpkin

To Do List

To get ready....


-Crate you need is a wire crate 42" depth with moveable wall

- Get frozen or fresh soft - beef, lamb or goat bones from your butcher. Save teeth - Do not use cooked bones – antlers or hard plastics to chew.

- Order Dog Food

Don't forget to order dog food! It's our recommended holistic food - made in Ontario- delivered to your door FREE automatically anywhere in North America


Correctly picking the perfect age to spay or neuter your dog has been discussed in the veterinary literature for decades. In more recent years shelter and animal rescue groups have advocated for early-age, 6 months of age and even younger, spay and neuter with the goal of preventing unwanted litters. As an added incentive the surgery is quicker and less complicated prior to sexual maturity in these immature puppies. The recommendations are now changing and recent studies suggest some benefits to waiting until your dog is a bit older to have the surgery performed, especially for larger dogs.

Spaying and neutering is obviously great for population control. Shelters and rescue groups typically require that cats and dogs be altered before being adopted to ensure that they can no longer reproduce. This is not always the best for the animals health.

When animals are growing, the bone growth takes place from a site at the end of the bones called the growth plate. Sex hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, close the growth plates. If a puppy is spayed or neutered before their bones are done growing, the closure of the growth plates is delayed, sometimes by several months. The result of this is that the dog will get a little taller. We also know that dogs that are spayed or neutered, are more prone to tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in their knees.

In an ideal world, dogs wouldn’t be spayed or neutered until their skeleton is fully developed.

Studies show that early spay/neuter does affect the growth plate, delaying its closure and causing dogs to grow taller and bigger than they should have.

For male dogs:

The signs of sexual maturity in male dogs include lifting their leg to urine mark (even in the house), humping, and overprotectiveness. Some of these behaviours can start at an early age and intensify as they continue to mature until 12 months, or even older for large breeds. During this time they build more muscle as their growth plates close. This maturation of their musculoskeletal system can help prevent certain orthopedic injuries later in life, especially in large breeds. There is also some evidence that certain cancers may be less likely if they are allowed to have some time to reach sexually maturity. Male dogs that are left intact through adulthood (past one year) and into their senior years can encounter prostate disease, perineal hernias, perianal tumors, and testicular tumors.

Small dogs do not have as many orthopedic issues, therefore it is fine to sterilize them on the younger side at 6-12 months of age. For large dogs that are very prone to orthopedic injury/diseases we now recommend waiting to neuter until 12 months of age.

The signs of sexual maturity in female dogs can have some similarity to the males, but they also will come into their first heat (estrous). This may mean up to two weeks of dripping blood, accompanied by moodiness and unwanted attention from male dogs from miles away. For most female dogs, this will happen around 9-10 months of age or older.

Once in while we will see a smaller-breed dog show signs of their first heat around 6 months of age. We also see large breed dogs that do not develop their first heat until closer to, or beyond, 12 months of age. There is a significantly higher risk of performing a spay surgery when a dog is in heat due to fragility of blood vessels and propensity for them to bleed internally. Given that, we avoid performing spay surgery while a dog is in heat unless it is an emergency situation. By about a month after the heat cycle, the blood vessels are more stable and the spay surgery can be performed safely. However, after the first heat the uterus and blood vessels have changed irreversibly to a mature state and spay surgery is more challenging than in an immature dog. Benefits that female dogs can see from having spay surgery when they are closer to maturity at one year include lower risk of orthopedic issues, a reduced risk of cancers (especially breast cancer), and a reduced risk of urinary incontinence.

When should I spay my female dog?

We recommend waiting until your dog is at least over 9 months and likely even older for larger dogs. The benefits are much more pronounced in larger dogs, but there is not a lot of difference for lap dogs. Studies have shown that large dogs spayed 6 months of age or less experience some higher risk of orthopedic problems and certain cancers and that risk is statistically reduced at 12 months. What happens statistically at each age in between still needs more study. We do know that with each heat cycle there is an increased risk of mammary adenocarcinoma (breast cancer) and risk of pyometra (a life-threatening uterine infection requiring emergency surgery and intensive care) so best to spay at one year. 


Keep your dog busy and his mind active with some puzzles for him to figure out.  Snuffle maps, are great.  Maze puzzles.  homemade puzzles are great too.  Try a muffin tin with tennis balls in each hole, a great hidden under a ball for them to find.


All dogs can benefit from probiotics, which aid digestion and modulate the immune system. Probiotics produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens, as well as providing other benefits to the intestines.

Car Rides

Puppies are very upset by the movement in a car at first.  A crate is the worst place for them.  They cry and their stress level goes through the roof.  In a lap or a seatbelt leash on a harness is best for any age dog travelling in the car.

Bathtub swimmers

Teach your dog to swim in the bath tub as soon as possible.  Use your roasting pan as an "island" for him to land.  

Fill up the tub a bit higher each time.  Throw in some floating toys and let the fun begin.


Get a crate big enough for your dog to sit up and not hit his head.

about 42" is best.

Cover the crate with a blanket on the roof and sides with the door not covered.

Crate should be in a quiet, dark, not visually near where you are.

Bones are the only thing in the crate.

The wall should start close to the front.  moving it only when the puppy can't turn around any longer.

Used Crates should be sanitized very well with a good bleach soak for at least an hour.

Using training Treats

Use a dehydrated meat treat the size of a pea to reward for toileting and a small corner of a biscuit treat when doing sit and stay type commands.






bottom of page